Raschka (Can't Sleep, 1995, etc.), recognizing that siblings and friends loom large in a small child's world, shows how a big sister's teasing is diminished by the support of a friend in an exuberant read-aloud. Roosevelt's sister calls him the ""blushful hippopotamus"" as he struggles with the challenges of childhood: saying the right word, staying upright on his bike, coping with a spilled ice-cream cone. He gets pink all over from her teasing. But Lombard, his ""best friend Lombard,"" a bird of clearly Kermit-the-Frog-style loyalty, reminds him that he is, also, a hopeful, mindful, thoughtful, skillful, and wonderful hippopotamus. Raschka's signature curlicues and whorls, in India ink and oil sticks, create a marvelous energy for the stolid hippo figures. The older sister, with her red manicured nails and bright red striped ensemble, gets smaller and smaller in the page frame as Roosevelt gains confidence (and page space). Bountiful comfort in very few words.